Vasquez: Mid-life crisis at 35

Sonora Vasquez

The overwhelming urge to change my life crept up on me a few months back. Could this be the beginning of the dreaded mid-life crisis? Happily married, beautiful children, a comfortable house, and a decent-paying job, so why the compulsion to suddenly question all my choices? This was the conundrum. There wasn’t any yearning to purchase a new sporty car or to wantonly run off with the first hot musician at Mom & Pop’s Saloon on karaoke night. I already have a drunk husband who sings off key. Just kidding.
The questions became more like having an “L” tattooed on my forehead for loser accompanied by unfulfilled and unaccomplished feelings. Mid-life crisis? Seriously, I’m only 35. And if you haven’t made it to this period in your life, be grateful. This psychological shift came with the emotional concoction of hopelessness, anxiety, depression, and just an overall need to transform something in me.  
These feelings came at me no holds barred.
I could feel them coming but there was no way to stop them. My husband and children were normally at the other end of my uncontrollable weeping or streaks of anger. I’m certain I sprouted horns and fangs when this inner turmoil began.
Last week, I clipped my horns and extracted those fangs by deciding to use my crisis as an opportunity for personal growth. I accepted the emotions and became willing to integrate the life challenge the universe had presented.
I enrolled with my reluctant 7-year-old son in a summer tap dance class.  He’s dreading it, but I’m totally excited. Did I mention it’s a children’s dance class?
As a child I visualized my life as a dancer. And let’s not typecast. Not all girls want to be prima ballerinas. I wanted to be like Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis Jr in Tap. I wanted to shuffle-ball-change my way from scene to scene. I can close my eyes and still hear the melodic clickety-clack of their tap shoes. Can you hear it? Talent? Who am I kidding? I also wanted to be a singer and be cast as Riff in the West Side Story Broadway musical: “Boy, boy, crazy, boy, Get cool, boy!”
No, I’m not going to be the stage Mom; the one who vicariously lives through her children’s activities. That’s what stage moms do, right? They make up for their own regrets through their children. My son really does want to dance but he’s afraid of the lingering stigma of boy-versus-girl-versus-mom norms. In recalling my dreams, I’m helping him overcome preconceived notions about social roles and in turn giving myself an avenue out of these mid-life blues.
Do the mid-life crisis thoughts still exist? Absolutely. The difference from the initial onset to now is awareness. Years from now (when the kids are grown and out of the house) I don’t want to be plagued by the “what ifs and what could have beens.”
Julia Child didn’t start cooking until she was 40, Harrison Ford was cast in Star Wars at 33 and Sonora Vasquez is going to tap dance at 35. I don’t want to be famous or help destroy the Death Star. I’m just answering the question. Why not? Following dreams or listening to burning desires do not come with an age limit. It’s simply an attitude.
On that note, I have some unfinished business to attend to. Tap dance class, anyone?
Interested in dance lessons? Check out the San Benito Dance Academy on McCray Street in Hollister. Visit sanbenitodanceacademy.com.

Leave your comments